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On Understanding Sources of Growth and Output Gaps for Switzerland


  • Kevin J. Fox
  • Mathias Zurlinden


In this paper, we measure the main factors explaining nominal output growth and deviations from trend output in Switzerland over the period 1980 to 2001. The decompositions are based on the GDP function and its dual, the national income function. The results indicate that whereas nominal output growth frequently reflects movements in domestic prices, it is capital formation that makes the largest contribution to real output growth, followed by gains in total factor productivity and improvements in the terms of trade. Deviations of real output from trend appear to have been driven by deviations of labour utilization, of productivity and, during the first decade, of the terms of trade from their respective long-run trends. The important role attributed to productivity and the terms of trade support the view that the customary measures of the output gap should be used with caution when formulating monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin J. Fox & Mathias Zurlinden, 2006. "On Understanding Sources of Growth and Output Gaps for Switzerland," Working Papers 2006-10, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2006-10

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohamed A. M. Sallam & Mohamed R. Neffati, 2019. "Estimation and Analysis of the Output Gap for the Saudi Economy; Econometric Study (1970-2016)," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 9(2), pages 267-284, February.

    More about this item


    GDP growth; output gap; index numbers; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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